Successful digital transformation requires high bandwidth, reliable interconnection of
applications, data centres, and clouds. Innovative data-driven strategies are enabling organisations to connect with customers and increase operational efficiency as never before. These new initiatives are built on a multitude of applications, such as big-data analytics, supply chain, and factory automation.
As part of this transformation, enterprises rely increasingly on multivendor, multicloud environments that mix on-premise, private, and public cloud services and workloads. This shift is causing enterprises to increase network capacity.
Simply adding bandwidth is not enough. The new multicloud environment is forcing IT leaders to rethink how their networks are designed, built, and managed. A 2017 PwC survey* found that workloads are increasingly distributed across multiple environments. These workloads – ranging from customer service to backup and recovery – are experiencing a notable shift from on-premise to public cloud environments, as more organisations push away from the traditional data centre model.
The cloud may open up new opportunities for agility and innovation but cloud deployments can also add complexity for networking teams. Enterprises must take a path toward the multicloud capable of interconnecting not only servers within data centres, but also multiple data centres and clouds, while ensuring tighter security, scalable capacity, and high reliability.
The Multicloud Network
To enable digital business strategies, a multicloud network must provide:
- Security – the prevalence of threats and fear of data loss place security at the highest priority level among IT leaders.
- Automation and DevOps support – a methodology for highly efficient application development, DevOps requires the automated and orchestrated provisioning of infrastructure resources, including networking, so that developers can quickly create applications for changing business needs
- High-speed switches with port density – applications across the distributed infrastructure use ever-increasing quantities of data, requiring high throughput. High port density is needed to interconnect large numbers of applications running in corporate data centres, public cloud services, and private clouds.
- Simplified network management – as network infrastructure proliferates, it becomes increasingly important to consolidate network management so that administrators gain a comprehensive view of the multicloud network from a single pane of glass.
- Universal building blocks – network switches that can act as universal building blocks across different fabrics will provide both capital and operational savings compared with purchasing, deploying, and supporting many different switches.
Data Centre Fabrics
When universal switches are deployed in a leaf-and-spine topology, they can be managed as a single unified entity – a fabric. A management solution should consolidate and simplify management across the fabric. Viewing the entire network from one console enables a network administrator to study traffic trends and quickly spot bottlenecks as they emerge. In turn, this enables adjustments in routing priorities as needed to assure consistent traffic flow.
Data Centre Edge Requirements
The presence of multiple data centres places increased importance on the ability to interconnect them at the edge through switches that support Layer 3 routing:
- Ethernet virtual private networking (EVPN) is essential, so that high-speed Ethernet links can run across a secure VPN between data centres.
- Multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) support is required to enable improved routing performance for different types of traffic, including EVPN.
- Data centre interconnect (DCI) functionality at the edge enables rapid adaptation to changing bandwidth requirements.
Digital business strategies are built on disaggregated applications running in multiple data centres, public cloud services , and private clouds. To support these applications, the enterprise network must evolve to provide secure, reliable, high-bandwidth interconnectionfor applications, data centres, and clouds. We partner with Juniper Networks to provide automated, scalable and secure network solutions that offer agility, performance and value.
‘Moving to a Multicloud Environment’ taken from IDG and Juniper paper ‘Moving to a Secure, Automated Multicloud Environment’.